Quicken My Soul ~ River of God

“There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God.”

                                                   Psalm 46:4

The Bible opens the history of man by showing him surrounded by a garden. It is in the midst of a garden he awakes, touched into life by the creating hand. There he learns his kingship in creation; there he discovers One whom he can love; there he walks in fellowship with God. We read, too, that through the garden ran a river. It flowed from Eden through the midst of paradise. On leaving Eden it parted into four, and its streams went out to fertilize the world. This, then, is the environment of man in the idyllic morning of his days–a garden of perfect beauty and delight made glad by the flowing of a river.

But as the history of man proceeds, of man in his relationship to God, the need arises of some other figure to illustrate the scenery of redemption. As long as man is unfallen, so long is a garden his true environment. There is no sin seeking to assail him, no hostile power bent upon his destruction. He can walk secure amid his garden groves and live without apprehension of assault.

                                                        The City

But with the advent of sin, all is changed. There grows an antagonism between man and God. The Church of God separates from the world and lives engirded by a deadly enemy. And just as this antagonism deepens, so does the thought of the garden become dim, and its place is taken in poetry and prophecy by the sterner concept of the city. For modern man the city is the home of commerce and its social life is the measure of its value. But in earlier times the value of the city lay mainly in the security it offered. And all who have seen a medieval city with its high walls and its defended ports will understand how in the day of trouble the city was the stronghold of the land. It was not to gardens that men fled for refuge when the trumpet rang its summons of alarm. They tilled their garden in the day of peace, but fled to the city in the day of danger.

And so as the conflict of the spirit deepened and life assumed the aspect of a war, the garden ceased to represent the Church, and the battlement city took its place. That is why Scripture opens with a garden and closes its long story with a city. Slowly above the dust of spiritual battle there rose the outline of a city’s wall, until at last, all that the psalmist hoped for and all that the prophet had declared in faith, was seen in vision by the seer in Patmos.

Now this identification of Church and city was greatly furthered among the Jews by one thing. It was greatly furthered for the Jews by the increasing importance of Jerusalem. So long as the Israelites were villagers and lived a pastoral or rural life, just so long their concept of a noble city was drawn from what they knew of foreign capitals. But as Jerusalem began to grow in numbers and to attract the attention of the world, then the associations of the city took a kindlier and more familiar tone. No Jew could picture a city of his God so long as the greatest cities were all heathen. There must be a capital of his own land to suggest and to inspire the figure. And so it was, as Jerusalem advanced and became the home of government and worship, that both prophet and psalmist with increasing confidence described the Church as the city of Jehovah. It was not just of Jerusalem they thought, though under all they thought about lay Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the sacrament and seal of the invisible city of their quest. Hence John in the closing page of Revelation, when he describes the city of his vision, says, “I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem.”

Now between Jerusalem and other cities there was one point of sharp and striking contrast. Jerusalem stood almost alone in this. It had no river flowing by its walls. It was very beautiful for situation; and as a city compactly built together, it occupied a position of great strength, and its walls were a mighty safeguard round about it. Yet one thing it lacked to beautify its streets and to make it a safe shelter when besieged–and the one thing which it wanted was a river. Nineveh had the waters of the Tigris; through Babylon wound the streams of the Euphrates; the city of Thebes rose beside the Nile, and Rome was to win her glory by the Tiber.

Jerusalem alone possessed no river; no depth of water flowed beneath her walls; all she could boast of, beside her wells and springs, was an insignificant and intermittent stream. It is that which explains the psalmist’s exclamation. A river!–the streams of it make glad the city. He sees Jerusalem, yet it is not Jerusalem, for in his vision there flows a river there. Once there had been a river in the garden when the garden was man’s meeting-place with God, and now the garden has become the city, and behold there is a river in the city.

What then is this river which the psalmist sees in the city of Jehovah? There is no need for conjecture, for the psalmist himself tells us what it was: “God is in the midst of her,” and he adds that it is the presence of God that is the gladdening river. It is Jehovah present with His Church that constitutes its gladness and refreshing.

                                                    Living Waters

I need hardly remind you how often in the Scripture God is compared with living waters. We read in Jeremiah, “They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Zechariah speaks of the fountain that shall be opened in Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. “And in the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.'” That, then, is the river in the city. It is the gladdening presence of Jehovah. It is God not distant in the heaven of heavens, but moving in the midst of our activities. For in that there is the secret of all strength, the hope of patient endurance to the end, and the gladness which is born of satisfaction of all that is deepest in the soul.

Let us remember, too, what John says of this river, that it proceeds out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. It is not without deep significance that John should have added these words–“of the Lamb.” There is a presence of God throughout the whole creation, for all things have their being in Him. That river flows from the throne of the Creator. But the river in the city flows from the throne of the Lamb; its well-spring is in Jesus and Him crucified; it is in Christ once slain and now enthroned that the city of God has joy and satisfaction. To His own city God reveals Himself, as He does not and cannot do unto the world. He comes to His own in the love of Jesus Christ, for he that hath seen Him hath seen the Father. And this is the river, not from the throne of God, but from the throne of God and of the Lamb, which flows and flows only through the city. This is that river which is full of water, and by the banks of which everything lives. This is the river which Ezekiel saw and which before long was deep enough to swim in. It is God, but it is God in Christ, the God of pardon and of full redemption. There is a river which makes glad the city, and it flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

                                                 The River Speaks of Joy

But now, to carry out the thought a little, let us take some suggestions from the figure. And, first, the river in the city speaks of joy. Between the ancient and the modern city there is one contrast we might easily miss. We view a city as the home of pleasure, as the place where most enjoyment may be had; it is in a measure to escape from dullness and boredom that multitudes leave the country for the town. But for the Jew, the city in itself was not regarded as a place of gladness; there was always something of a shadow on its streets. As a matter of fact, it is in country life that the Bible finds its images of gladness. The city was but a sad necessity in a country which might be swept by war. And the gloomier the city was, the better; for the higher and more impregnable its walls, the greater was the safety it afforded to men who sought its shelter in the strife. Not of a city such as we know today would a Jew think when he read of the city of God. He would imagine one that was impregnable and could defy the siege of any foe. And so says the psalmist, “Lo, there is a river”–the city of God is girded with walls unshakeable–yet through it flows the gladness of the hills and the joy of waters on which the sunshine plays. Safe is the man who dwells within these walls, for they are built by One whose workmanship is sure. His life is more than one of gloomy safety cut off from the liberty of plain and hill. At his very feet there flows a river, clear as crystal, making glad music, and he who stoops to drink of its clear stream is refreshed and made happy by its refreshment.

But aren’t there many who are tempted yet to think of religion as a life of gloom? They may feel that it is safe to be religious, but that that safety is very dearly purchased. The city of God is but a gloomy place, and some day they shall enter its defenses; but today let them have the gladness of the mountains and the music of the broad and happy world. To all who may be tempted to think so comes the word of the psalmist–“Lo, there is a river!” Not only is the Christian life the guarded life, it is the life that is lived beside the stream of joy. For to know that God is with us in Christ Jesus and that He will never leave us nor forsake us, that, after all, is the unfailing secret of the happy and contented heart. Everything lives where this river flows. The tree of life is growing on its banks. To live with God is to redeem one’s life from the worry and the rush that make it not worth living. The city of God is not a gloomy place, however it may look to those without; there is a river in its streets that makes it glad.

                                     The River in the City Suggests Peace

When you read the opening verses of this Psalm, you find yourself in a scene of wild confusion. The psalmist, in a few graphic words, pictures chaos in the world. The earth is reeling in the shock of earthquake; the mountains sink into the depths of the ocean; the waters of the sea rise up in fury and sweep with terrific force across the land. Everywhere there is uproar and confusion, an earth that is shaken to its very base, and men in terror and panic fear as if the end of all things was at hand. Then suddenly the psalmist calls a halt, and another vision breaks upon his gaze. A river! and it is flowing in sweet peace through a city that stands unshaken and unshakable. And nothing could be more striking or more beautiful than that swift passage from the roaring sea to the gentle gliding of that quiet river as it murmurs among the city streets. It is the psalmist’s vision of the peace of all who have taken up their dwelling-place with God. This is a peace that the world can never give, for the world is in throes of earthquake and of storm. But it flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb; its source is a Savior crucified yet crowned; and it is the heritage of every man who believes in an enthroned Christ.

The life of the Christian should be like a river flowing through the streets of a great city. In the midst of all disturbance and dismay it ought to be like a picture of sweet peace. For he who has God beside him night and day and who continually stays his mind on God, amid all the disturbing tumult of his lot, has a heart at peace with itself.

                                       The River in the City Suggests Prosperity

We do not need to be told how a city’s welfare depends upon its river. It is the Clyde that makes glad the city of Glasgow by bringing a livelihood to tens of thousands. There is hardly a dwelling on any street or terrace that is not influenced in some way by the river. Life may be hard enough for many citizens, but it would be harder and perhaps impossible if the sources of our river were to fail and its bed to become empty of its waters. On the Thames depends the prosperity of London, on the Clyde the prosperity of Glasgow; is it not equally true that on the river depends the prosperity of the city of God? For let the presence of God in Jesus Christ be withdrawn from the soul or from the church, and nothing can save that soul from being cast away or keep that church from the decay of death. No organization will avail if Christ is not present in its congregation. No wealth of learning, no beauty of ritual, is of the slightest use if that is lacking. Unless God is in the midst of her and His grace like a flowing river, the city of God can never hope to see the work of the Lord prospering in her hand. Brethren, for the sake of our own souls, and not less for the church which we belong to, let us covet more earnestly what is in our power, a life of unbroken fellowship with God. That is the victory that overcomes the world. That is the open secret of prosperity. That is the river from the throne of the Lamb that makes glad the city of our quest.

                                             A River With Many Streams

In closing let us note one other word. The psalmist does not merely speak about a river; he pictures the river branching into streams: “There is a river the streams whereof make glad.” Now the word translated “streams” is rather “brooks.” It is used everywhere of lesser rivulets, and it brings before us the thought of the great river with its waters carried along a hundred channels so that each garden-plot within the city has its own tiny, yet sufficient, stream. It is thus that the river makes glad the city of God, not merely by flowing in a mighty tide, but by coming into every separate plot in a channel peculiarly its own. And so the question for each of us is this, “Is God indeed mine–is He my own? Have I opened a way for Him into my garden–am I personally acquainted with His grace?”

It is not enough to live near the river and let it flow beside us in its beauty. God must be ours, and we must be His if we are to have the gladness of His presence.

George Morrison



Quicken My Soul – Throne of Grace


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An Invitation to Pray at the Throne of Grace

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

If we are going to live by grace, we must relate rightly to the God of all grace: namely, by walking in humble dependence. Continual, Spirit-led prayerfulness is the basic way to express humility and faith to the Lord. How fitting it is, then, to consider God’s invitation to pray at the throne of grace.

The throne to which we are invited is the throne of God, revealed to the Apostle John. “Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne” (Rev 4:2). This honored King of the universe is the Creator of everything, exercising His sovereign will by His infinite power. “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Rev 4:11). This is a throne of everlasting holiness, as declared constantly by angelic creatures. “And they do not rest day or night, saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!’ ” (Rev 4:8). For the godless, this will become a throne of judgment. “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it . . . And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God . . . And they were judged, each one according to his works . . . And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:11-13, Rev 20:15).

If this throne were only characterized by sovereign power, holiness, and judgment, we could never approach it with any expectation of blessing. Yet, for those who will humbly receive eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, this is a throne of grace. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace.” We can approach this throne with spiritual confidence, because Jesus is seated there with the Father. “And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne . . . stood a Lamb as though it had been slain . . . Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (Rev 5:6, Rev 5:12). The worthy one, who died for our sins, has opened the door to an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father. “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’ ” (Rom 8:15). Dread of God is replaced with boldness, by the grace of Jesus Christ: “in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him” (Eph 3:12). Now, this throne is to us an altar of prayer for mercy and grace!
Abba, Father, I bow before Your throne, acknowledging You as the sovereign Creator and the holy Judge. Yet, I boldly approach You as my dear, intimate Papa! Although I deserved judgment, now through Jesus, I humbly expect mercy and grace!


The Lady at Number 31


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When did I first notice her? I don’t really recall. I’m sure there was an initial meeting, but thinking back she seemed to be always hanging around in the background even before I became aware of her. As time went on she would suddenly turn up, intrusively, when I was least expecting her….. during coffee with friends, or while quietly enjoying my favourite magazine. Once she arrived with my pastor’s wife, who seemed to know her very well. And of course I saw her regularly at church. But I have to confess, the more I saw of her the less I liked her.

My friends, of course, all aspired to be just like her and spoke of her with glowing admiration. The men I knew viewed her almost like a pin up girl, though none would ever admit to it. In fact, everybody loved her except me. It was taken for granted I felt the same way and I sensed any dissension would have been met with universal disapproval, so I kept my feelings about her to myself. But the harder I ignored her the more annoying she seemed to become. I knew no matter how hard I tried I could never emulate her. Her beauty was legendary, her behaviour immaculate, and her talents unmatched by anyone I knew. In short, she was all I was not.

Soon I found myself becoming depressed over her. She seemed to be watching me no matter where I went. It was as if she was looking over my shoulder in silent disapproval at my every move. No matter what I did there she was, showing me up by just being herself. She had this uncanny knack of making me feel guilty without uttering a word.

 Finally I decided enough was enough. The time had come for confrontation, a face-off that would settle it between us for all time. Certainly it would be risky, but what else could I do? Either she would win and I must sullenly join her army of admirers forevermore holding my peace, or, (as I secretly hoped!) I would unmask her for what she really was, marching triumphantly away feeling forever justified that there was something wrong with her all along!

And so it was, armed with all the courage I could muster and a set of gritted teeth, I turned up that day at No. 31 determined to have it out with this ‘celebrity’ housewife once and for all. Standing at her door I banged loudly until she opened and finally we were face to face. Now she would be given a piece of my mind!

“What is it with you?” I demanded. “You’re up every night cooking and sewing for your family, then getting up at sunrise to run your real estate business, buying and selling land no less! You run around planting vineyards, and, um, oh yeah, they say you’re always down at the charity centre working with the poor. Not only that, you make all your own clothes and you look stunningly beautiful …..ALL THE TIME! Your husband has nothing but admiration for you and even your children think you’re perfect. Everybody talks about how kind and wise you are, and, and… well, here we just ordinary, less than beautiful,imperfect, unwise women are constantly being told to become just like you. Well, I for one am tired of it. Who can live up to your reputation? Do you know how hard you make it for us? Well, do you? Huh? Do you?”

Not a word did she answer me. I stood for a moment catching my breath before I launched into my next tirade. Still she did not speak. Perhaps I’d forgotten to mention something on her long list of accomplishments and she was waiting for me to remember?

Then it was, as I stared defiantly into her eyes, and she gazed back into mine, that I saw her, really saw her, for the first time. Hidden there, behind her serene and gentle smile, like a silent secret hanging in the air, I saw what I had missed for so long. This virtuous wife whose image had so often been paraded as my highest example in life was not who they said she was! I gasped with joy and relief as revelation of her true identity flooded my soul. Relief replaced anger, understanding replaced guilt, and hope came alive.

Here she was, the Bride of Christ, hidden in the last chapter of the book of Proverbs. There for all to see, yet so seldom discerned. And having at last discovered her I knew I had also been granted a precious and rare gift…..freedom! Never again would I avoid her company, never again would I compare my shortcomings with her accomplishments.

The secret of the lady at No. 31 was mine at last! She was not, after all, the lofty unattainable example of Christian womanhood I and so many others had been instructed unceasingly to strive towards. Instead she had been here patiently waiting as a revelation of Christ’s Bride, hidden since ancient times, yet ready to be revealed to all who would seek her out. She was and is what each of us, man, woman and child, all who truly love and pursue the Bridegroom, are becoming together. And her worth is indeed “far above rubies”.

“Strength and honour are her clothing, she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her Husband also, and he praises her: “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all”. Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.” Proverbs 31:25-31 

Copyright Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride.

Thanks to Cheryl for her beautiful portrayal of this “elusive” woman.

Quicken My Soul – Dark Chamber


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He hath made me to dwell in dark places, as those that have been long dead,Lam_3:6

 Every man is a mystery to himself as to his fellows. With reverence, we may say of each other as we say of God – ” Clouds and darkness are round about Him.” After all the manifestations of a life, we remain enigmas to one another, mysteries to ourselves; for every man is no fixed somewhat, but a growing personality, with dormant possibilities of good and evil lying in him, which up to the very last moment of life may flame up in altogether unexpected and astonishing developments, so as that we have all to feel that after all self-examination there lie awful possibilities within us which we have not fathomed; and after all our knowledge of one another we yet do see but the surface, and each soul dwells alone.

There is in every heart a dark chamber. There are very, very few of us that dare tell all our thoughts and show our inmost selves to the dearest ones. The most silvery lake that lies sleeping amidst beauty, itself the very fairest spot of all, when drained off shows ugly ooze and filthy mud, and all manner of creeping abominations in the slime. I wonder what we should see if our hearts were, so to speak, drained off, and the very bottom layer of everything brought into the light? Do you think you would like it? Do you think you could stand it?

Well, then, go to God and ask Him to keep you from the unconscious sins. Go to Him and ask Him to root out of you the mischiefs that you do not know are there, and live humbly and self-distrustfully, and feel that your only strength is: ” Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe.” “Hast thou seen what they do in the dark?”

Trust Christ! and so thy soul shall no longer be like “the sea that cannot rest,” full of turbulent wishes, full of passionate desires that come to nothing, full of endless moanings, like the homeless ocean that is ever working and never flings up any product of its work but yeasty foam and broken weeds, – but thine heart shall become translucent and still, like some land-locked lake, where no winds rave nor tempests ruffle; and on its calm surface there shall be mirrored the clear shining of the unclouded blue, and the perpetual light of the sun that never goes down.

Does this speak to anyone besides me?  Sigh……………………more prayer to cleanse my heart.

This Is My Story ~ This Is My Song


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semi colon

Almost 8 weeks ago I laid on an operating room table oblivious to the fact they had cut my breastbone in half, laid out my heart and lungs to a machine to keep me alive while they grafted three arteries in bypass on my heart.  My husband is fond of telling me I have a renewed heart. Yes darling in more ways than you can know.  My hubby sees it through not only a physical but spiritual process.  Bless him for the encourager he is.  I love you honey.

I struggled to find God anywhere in this whole mess.  I thought my God, you have to have given me something in all of the things that have happened to bring me to this point, on this day, in this operating room .  I have loved you through all the garbage – where are you now? But I felt empty, confused and truthfully just plain worn out from the fight.  I didn’t care if I came through or not.  I have never spoken that out loud because looking back from this side of it, I never had a choice in any of it. I wasn’t scared. I was just plain tired physically, emotionally and spiritually of all the battles.

All I remember is the darkness.  It was black.  A void – a place so dark I could not move or see or I think even begin to fathom the depth of.  Yet I remember it vividly.  I remember the dark.  Some of my friends asked me, I think expecting me to have this testimony of an encounter, you know, the white light thingy.  Instead – it was dark.  Not a fearful dark but a dark that I could feel.  A dark that I could sense was not hurting me but keeping at bay a fiery enemy.  The dark was protective and surrounded me on all sides.  It was a peaceful dark. And I was wide awake in it.

I am reminded of all the teachings about “out of the darkness comes light” and “darkness is the absence of light”.  All I have ever heard is there is light.  And yet, I am alive today standing to say that there is a darkness that is healing.  There is a darkness that puts us in a place of waiting to be risen just as Jesus was.  His body laid in the dark three days.  I only laid in the dark for 7 hours.  No, there was more. There is a whole two weeks of my life that I cannot remember but bits and pieces of.  A whole two weeks that the darkness seemed to be holding me in it clutches.  I began to fear the dark was not healing but stealing my resurrection.

At home all I could do while laying in agony and darkness in my recliner was to keep repeating John 1.  I remember so clearly from the dark  repeating over and over “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the word was God”.  Was I crying out for Jesus? Coming out of the dark back into the light? My own form of resurrection?I felt as if I was graping at empty space. Reaching for the unreachable.

Throughout this journey, which looks to be a long one, I have searched and not found answers for the ever present why’s that we live with today.  All I know today, at this moment, is that I was held in the dark for His reason and as I resurface to the light and sanity – the answers are being given to me slowly but ever so surely.  There is a resurrection in progress and I am praising God every day for that. He wants me to finish my story. He wants me to sing my song. He put me back here because He wasn’t done with me yet.

There is a story to be told. A song to be sung of grace and overwhelming love. It is my story and my song and He wasn’t done revealing it yet.  It has been written and I am but the character who acts out the story.  Seriously – did I really think I was in control?  More than a laughable thought I think.  Obviously God was trying to get me back to the storyline. I am here. I am alive. His choice.  He could have taken me home but he didn’t.  He put me back in this place for a reason that only He knows today.  What He is impressing on me at this time is that this is His story about me.  And because I have been like a petulant little child I am being put in timeout to wait. I don’t do timeout well.  I’d rather you just spank me and get it over and done with.  Nonetheless, there is a story and it isn’t over yet. And I will wait. My body is slowly healing. My emotions are coming back into alignment. My spirit is once again beginning to soar as I hear Him telling me there is another chapter to the story.  There is another verse to the song. And I will wait. The page will turn when He is ready.

There is a hymn that has come to mind often lately.  The title of this post is from the refrain.  This IS my story.  My story is every breath I take by His grace and mercy. This IS my song.  My song is sung through my hands on a keyboard.  Today that precious gift that He gave me had its own resurrection.  Thank you Heavenly Father.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His spirit, washed in His blood

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

Perfect submission, perfect delight
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love

This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
Praising my Savior all the day long

Do you see the words to this song?

My story is there. Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of His spirit, washed in His blood.  My song is there. Angels descending, echoes of mercy, whispers of love.



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We will get back to “The Beast That Crouches At The Door” in a few days!  A hiatus was in order.

I stumbled across an article the other day that simply fascinated me.  Sometimes the simplest things escape our memories.  My friends – many of you know all of this I am sure, for you are much wiser and much smarter LOL!  For me, a glaring reminder and a fresh breath of remembrance of why I am where I am.

Considering where I am in my journey of life these days, I found it absolutely amazing, especially when shown in pictures.  I think perhaps I knew this but a refreshing never hurts us hehehehe….

Just think about this and the implication of the vastness and in-credulousness of the things of God.  Nothing is without purpose nor reason.  Nothing is beyond His hands in creation.  Nothing is done that he hasn’t rooted in His desired place in creation. And remarkably (I use that word because I can’t find one to express it any other way!) if you care to see you will find that Adam having been taken from the dust of the earth reflects God’s creation in the earth.  Follow the pictures and you will see.

The Human Heart

The roots of our living and breathing

Branches in our lungs


The earth’s circulation system

From the dust of the earth…….roots

How much do humans and earth look alike?  Our organs seem to be the same.  Both alive in a sense.  How much do we really resemble Earth and why?  Do you suppose God is showing us (if we care to look) our connection to the dust of the earth?  Where we came from….

Take a look at our blood system. Humans have veins; the Earth has its rivers which circulate all beneficial ingredients of the soil everywhere needed.   Humans have arteries and veins, like a tree has roots via which it is feeding itself. Take a look at how the complex system of a human heart’s circulatory systems looks very much like the root system of a living tree…     In the same way humans breathe by using their lungs, the Earth has trees which provide the necessary oxygen for its atmosphere. The analogy might seem somewhat misplaced, but who can really close his eyes in front of such a similarity?  Seriously……………………perhaps a purposeful similarity???

We are humans. Earth is our home. And as much as we are alive, so is Earth.  Modern biology is not able to provide an exact definition of the simplest term we all share: Life.  Science is a matter of definitions and axioms.  How can you not see that God is real and even in His creation shows us the truth?

Thanks for making me think Harmonia Philosophica!  Stumbled onto your site and while I can’t agree with all you present I am delighted you have made me think!

Long Time No See


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Long time no see my friend, Concert Of Prayer.  I see you have not left me and do welcome me back.   LOL!

Writing has eluded me for some time now.  I have debated deleting this blog along with a couple of others I have but they are intertwined in my heart and remind me of my journey.

So, I will be deleting a couple of others, and concentrating on you my friend Concert of Prayer.  Oh!  And the new one that shall be your sister in spirit.  Join me there too if you desire!

Ancient Journey

Back soon!

The Beast that Crouches at the Door – Part 1 Chapter 7 (2)


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Well life has slowed down a little (NOT) so we shall continue on anyway in this fascinating, yet sometimes irritating book.  It sometimes make me think too hard……..  Going to have my twin grandbabies for the next two weeks so the next post may be a while too!

A World of Broccoli and Pizza part 2

I have not read Maimonides’ Guide to the Perplexed.  It seems I need to.  I have it on one of my Bible Study programs on my computer; just haven’t had time to read it.  In order to understand some of this perspective it will come to the forefront of my reading material. LOL  Like I have time to read more books.  Thank goodness I finally got a Kindle.  So here we go.

We left off with the questions:

How does one take good and evil inside of oneself?

What would it mean to think about right and wrong in the world of Eden pre-tree?

In his Guide to the Perplexed, Maimonides suggests that Adam and Eve were already aware of right and wrong before eating from the tree.  In some respect anyway.  He suggests the tree didn’t give them moral awareness where it didn’t exist before, it transformed this awareness from one thing into another. They would not have formed their moral choices of “good and evil” in this terminology.  He suggests they would have known “true” as a virtuous choice and “false” as a reprehensible choice. So doing the right thing to them would have been “truth” and doing the wrong thing would have been “falsehood”.  As I’m reading this I feel as if we are splitting hairs here, but then it began to make more sense. In our world we simply just don’t think this way.  Perhaps we should.

Seeing morality as a choice between “truth and falsehood” as differing from saying morality means choosing between “good and evil” involves much more than just the words. There is an understanding that must come somehow of where exactly this tree, the knowledge of good and evil, and Eve’ actions take us.  Questions arise.  Always the questions!

How are “true” things different from “good” things?

For me this question required a lot of hard thinking. I sometimes just want a simple answer and am discovering that is not always the way to a fuller understanding. Looking at definitions, which is now my forever guideline, along with what Rabbi Fohrman enlightens me with in his book – I find another meaning for good.  “That which is pleasing. When I say that something is good, what I am really telling you, in a subtle way, is that I approve of it.  That it is desirable.”

Rabbi Fohrman explains that perhaps Maimonides means this (in my own words): The shift was from discerning what God wanted to allowing my desire to intrude and become my guide.  This tree fascinated Eve in every aspect from the most base (taste) to the most profound (mind).   This tree was a tree of desire.  “To eat from it was to literally bring desire inside myself; to identify with it.”

I have always looked at this Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil as a lesson more or less on morality.  But it is so much more.  In the pre-tree world desire was a natural part of who we are.  But, it was under God’s control. In the post-tree world that desire controls us.  We have created a different view of virtue and desire. Tu understand how we moved from a world of truth and falsehood to a world of good and evil, through desire, let’s look a little more.

Rabbi Fohrman’s test:  Think on these things. He calls it a thought experiment.  Divide these items into 2 columns.

“Is it ok to take a dying man off a respirator?”

“My elderly mother needs help organizing her house before she moves, but my kid needs me to help him prepare for finals. With whom do I spend the evening?”

“Should Billy lie to the teacher to protect his friend, Bobby, when the teacher asks him whether Bobby was cheating on his test?”

It’s a dark and rainy night in Manhattan.  You throw your trusty Chevy Suburban into reverse and begin to back our of your parking spot, when you hear a sickening thud.  You get out of the car to behold, right behind you, a shiny black Lexus convertible – with a badly dented front end.  You look around.  The street is entirely dark, not a soul to be seen.  Do you leave a note or not?”

“The dilemmas do divide naturally into two groups.  Three of these dilemmas are real.  One of them, though, is fundamentally illusory. Three of the dilemmas exist whether you live in a world of “true and false” or a world of “good and evil”. The other exists only in the mixed-up world of “good and evil”.  In the world of “true and false” it simply evaporates.

Now, which is which?”

The Beast that Crouches at the Door – Intermission


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Just a quick post to let you know I didn’t run away.  My plate has been a little full the last week.  We will get back at it in another day or two.  Stay tuned!  It’s gonna be some fun………..

Here’s a little intermission devotion for you to while away your time with.

The Two Voices

The voice of  thy brothers blood crieth unto Me from the ground. – Gen 4:10

Speaketh better things than that of Abel. –

Heb 11:24

We have the blood that speaks of man’s hate, and the other blood that speaks of God’s love. The former was shed simply because the milk of brotherly affection was all curdled into hate through the working of jealousy and of envy. So that first dismal story rises up on the very threshold of history as a solemn revelation of the possibilities of diabolical and murderous hatred that lie in all human relationships and in all men’s hearts; and speaks to every one of us the warning that we shall not cherish the tiny seeds of jealousy and envy of a brother’s good, which may ripen and fructify into the devilish fruit of murder, as it did there.

Christ’s death was also caused by man’s sins, by the antagonism which was raised in man by His very beauty and purity. Eternal goodness came into the world, and the world hated the light, because its deeds were evil.

But we have to go deeper than that. The blood of Abel proclaimed man’s hate, the blood of Christ proclaims God’s infinite love. For He died, not because men hated Him, but because He loved men. He did not die because Pharisees and Scribes, with all the others who were roused in antagonism against Him, carried out their schemes, but He died because He would. It was not their hostility that nailed Him to the Cross, it was His purpose to save. It was not because men willed it that He perished from the life of earth, but because He would give Himself for us. And so, whilst from that old dim incident far away there, low down on the horizon of history, there streams out, as it were, a baleful light that speaks of man’s sin and hatred, from this other there rays out a celestial brightness, which proclaims the infinite love of the Father who gave His Son, and the infinite love of the Son who gave Himself. The one is reeking with hatred, the other is fragrant with love. The one shows the depths of possible evil in men’s hearts, and how all human affection may be embittered and turned to its opposite; the other shows how the infinite lovingkindness of God lives on and on, like the patient sunshine upon the glaciers, notwithstanding all the coldness and the alienation of man’s nature, and how that infinite and wondrous love shrinks not from even the death which the hate it would win to love can inflict. “The blood of sprinkling speaketh better things than that of Abel,” in that against the blackness of man’s hate it lifts the sevenfold lustre of the infinite love of God.

Murder, envy, hatred, bitterness, hostility, evil……….

One drop of love covers it all

The Beast that Crouches at the Door – Pt 1 Chapter 7


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A World of Broccoli and Pizza  (I know, what’s this all about?) LOL

I am putting the question (in my own words) from the middle of this chapter right here at the beginning.  Think about this question as you read on.  Did Adam and Eve not have moral awareness before the “Fall”?  What did they know? Were they just in lala land?

Gen 3:8  And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day………    So God wasn’t right beside them physically to smack their little hands if they messed up?  I’m guessing.  You know like we as parents do.  “Smack” , no – don’t touch that it will hurt you.  How did they know right from wrong?

Etz HaDa’at Tov Vara – The Forbidden Tree – The tree we know translated as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  This tree isn’t anywhere to be found anymore. Do you think if it were we would be able to understand it by taking sap samples from its trunk or taking its fruit and measuring the biochemical qualities of it?  As the Rabbi says, “but while the tree itself is gone, the Hebrew words that describe its characteristics are alive and well. “    Etz HaDa’at Tov Vara……………….what does this mean?

Da’at – routinely translated as knowledge.

“The meaning of this word, however, is not limited to conventional knowledge. Indeed, one of the first times in Genesis this Hebrew root appears, it conveys an experience that, at first blush, few of us would call ‘knowledge’ at all “(Gen 4:1).   This word doubles as a synonym for sexual intimacy.”

It seems that the use of this word in the Torah for both “knowledge” and “sexual union” is significant.  He says there is a core understanding that gives rise to both of these meanings.

The book discusses at this point experiential knowing.  He speaks of Gen 4:1 in that Adam knew his wife.  The question is asked: “When a man knows his wife, what is he really seeking?”  We have a few laugh lines here as you can probably imagine, however, it deeply touched me to be reminded  there is something more than sheer pleasure that a man seeks.

“That a man attains da’at of a woman by joining with her and experiencing her, even though he can’t express in words her mysterious essence…………. Perhaps, on some level, he is after knowledge…knowledge of the mysterious, alluring feminine that is so different from him, but so much a ‘missing part’ of him at the same time…….He is seeking raw, firsthand knowledge. He is seeking to experience the feminine in a direct, unfiltered way.”

The old great debate between philosophers is at work here: head knowledge reigns supreme vs. real knowledge is only gained by experience.  Well now, that could open a can of worms in today’s churches, don’t you think?  Moving on………..

Da’at according to Rabbi Fohrman seems to denote the kind of knowledge of knowing something by experiencing it.

“A scientist who performs an experiment attains da’at, even though he can’t yet explain the rationale behind what he has experienced.  A man attains da’at of a woman by joining with her and experiencing her, even though he can’t express in words her mysterious essence.  And humankind attains da’at of good and evil, not by intellectualizing about morality and what it is made of – but by experiencing ‘good and evil’ in a raw, direct way.

To summarize then, in attaining a ‘knowledge’ of good and evil, humanity didn’t gain a better intellectual understanding of right and wrong.  We gained an experiential understanding of these things. We began to know right and wrong from the ‘inside’.”

Egads – now this is starting to give something on a rabbit trail to really ponder.  The battle rages on between people today regarding knowledge and experience.  Which is right?  I confess that I myself on occasion have been found in the middle of that battle.  The answer is really quite simple, but until you figure it out for yourself from the Word of God, this battle will go on and on.  You need help?  (John 14:26)

Good and evil.  Who on earth wants to “experience” evil?   “How does one take “good and evil” inside of oneself?”  The words good and evil in Hebrew (tov and ra) uncover the answers.

Remember I made this statement in Chapter 1 – “There was a transformation in the Garden of Eden.  A transformation of understanding.  Doesn’t that in itself beg a question?………. ‘What would it mean to think about right and wrong in the world of Eden………?’   Pre-tree……..sigh… “

I have found for me that it is easier to split this chapter into two posts.  There is much to consider as we go forward from here. Is there anyone else out there that can see the depth of meaning in this? Can you picture the understanding that Christ had of all of this?  After all, it is what He knew.   I would encourage you to take a few moments and study the word Rabbi.  Here’s a hint: The function of the rabbi of the Talmud was to teach the members of the community the Scriptures and the oral and traditional laws. Here’s a link for further info.